Building bridges in primary care: International Federation launch


The Bosphorus Bridge joining Europe and Asia

Members of the European Forum for Primary Care (EFPC) and delegates from over 30 countries joined together in the EFPC conference whose theme was Balancing The Primary And Secondary Care Provision For More Integration and Better Health Outcomes“. This was a landmark conference, symbolic in being held in the historic city of Istanbul, Turkey where Europe bridges Asia across the Bosphorus.

New members of the EFPC advisory board

New members of the EFPC advisory board: Sophie Rodebjer (Dietician, Sweden) and Marije Bolt (Occupational Therapist, Netherlands)

The conference was an opportunity to build new bridges and restate the values of the EFPC which include community and person-orientated primary care, multiprofessionalism, social justice and inclusivity. As a result of a reorganisation the EFPC established a smaller executive chaired by Jan de Maeseneer (Gent, Belgium) and a new larger interdisciplinary advisory board which includes nursing, allied health (occupational therapy, dietetics, physiotherapy), health economics and general practice from many of the EU member states. In addition, the EFPC Alliance for Community Oriented Primary Care joined with counterparts in Australia, Canada, the United States and globally to form the International Federation of Community Health Centres (IFCHC)to share experiences and knowledge on the potential for CHCs to improve health and access to health care for populations around the world.



The conference had excellent keynotes on “Future challenges for the EU health workforce” (Katja Neubauer, EC), Developing regional action framework for coordinated/integrated health services delivery in the WHO European region” (Dr Hans Kluge, WHO), “The contribution of nurses in future proof health care” (Marieke Schuumans, University of Applied Sciences

The blue mosque

The blue mosque

Utrecht) and “Integration: examples from Turkey and Europe” (Prof. Mehtap Tatar). There were also keynotes from Dr Pavlos Theodorakis (Greek Ministry of Health) on the financial crisis and primary care in Greece and from Dr Cagri Kalaca (CEO Saglik Bahcesi) on learning pathways.

Making wishes

Lighting wishes over the Bosphorus

The conference was also an opportunity for Prof. Niro Siriwardena (EFPC advisory board) to present joint work from the Universities of Lincoln and Gent on “A meta-synthesis of clinicians’ experiences and perceptions of benzodiazepine prescribing: developing and integrated approach for care of insomnia and sleep problems”.

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